The Kwara state Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has finally confirmed allegation of harassing and detaining journalists and a lawyer for hours at the state Command of the Corps.
It can be recalled that the Chairman of Kwara state Online Media Practitioner (ASKOMP), who doubles as the Publisher of Informant247, Salihu Shola Taofeeq had accused the NSCDC of harassing and detaining himself, the editor of his news medium; Salihu Ayatullah and a female lawyer turned journalist, Khadijat Eyitanwa Lawal unlawfully, over a case they were not involved in.
The Kwara state Public Relations Officer of the NSCDC, Ayeni Olasunkami while reacting to the allegations with Punch Newspaper had claimed the Corps did not detain the journalists, maintaining “Tanwa was cautioned and asked to sit at the detention area.”
However, in a sharp twist, Olasunkanmi in a press statement admitted the NSCDC detained the journalists, although insisting they were not forced to write statements.
What is however surprising in Olasunkami’s statement was that although he claimed Lawal was detained because she was unruly, he however said Salihu Shola Taofeeq wrote statement on Lawal’s behalf, while addressing Salihu as Lawal’s ‘co traveller’.
In a malicious rejoinder, Olasunkanmi said “On the 26th Jan, 2023, a case of assault and intimidation was reported at the station office of the command by one Yusuf Yahaya against one Mr Damilola Bolanta. The case was handled professionally by the peace and conflicts resolution unit of the command.
“After resolving the issue between the complainant and the suspect, they were referred back to the station office to sign the (sic) all necessary documents. While they were still waiting at the station office, a lady by name Khadijat Eyitanwa Lawal came into the station office to display an unruly behaviour not expected of any reasonable, rational and law abiding citizen. She became a a meddlesome interloper by interfering in the official duty of our staff uninvited. When she was cautioned not to interfere on an official matter, she started hurling insults on one of the officer handling (sic) and the organisation for politely cautioning her. Calling the officer and the organisation all sort of derogatory names.
“Rather than placing herself on the Olympic height of decorum where trained noble men belongs (sic) she chose to employ the language of a gutter snipe right on the premises of the Command and had to be detained when she was asked to leave the premises of the command where she was heavily constituting nuisance and obstructing officers from carrying out their lawful duties to which she refused and was detained.”
“On the intervention of some lawyers having spent about an hour in detention, she and her ‘co traveller’ were asked to write an apology letter, which was voluntarily written by her colleague, Saliu Shola Taofeek”, he added.